By Kofi Thompson
As someone used to turning disasters into opportunities, I do hope that the victims of the fire that destroyed most of Accra's Kantamanto market, will see the opportunity that their disaster represents.
To begin with, let them remember that it does not really matter where they do business from.
Precisely because of the nature of their business, their customers will come to buy from them wherever they are located, whenever the need to do so arises.
Let them work with the print and electronic media to let the public know where their temporary locations are - now they have the sympathy of most Ghanaians.
Secondly, they ought to seize the opportunity now available to them, to access soft loans from the Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
If ever they had the opportunity to get government backing to negotiate really low rates of interest for loans from the banking industry, this is it. Let them seize it.
Above all, it is in their long-term interest to cooperate with the city authorities, to find suitable alternative sites to carry on business from, whiles the Kantamanto site is rebuilt into a modern purpose-built market, with all the facilities they need for their convenience and that of their customers.
Their input ought to be factored into the rebuilding process, by the city authorities, every step of the way.
That is strategic thinking for protecting their own long-term interests - at a time when the city authorities are most likely to pay attention to their concerns.
This is a time that calls for positive thinking in their ranks - not negativity that will only worsen their plight.
As a result of the tragic fire, the insurance industry, for example, will be amenable to a request from them, for a collaborative effort to design tailor-made insurance policies that will protect their investment, in the event of any future fire or natural disaster, such as flooding in the city that affects them.
The hearts of all Ghanaians go out to them - and we all pray for wisdom for their leaders at this particularly difficult time: so that they will see and seize all the opportunities that their tragedy will open up for them, going forward.